I WOULD like to correct some of the misapprehensions about city academies in Malcolm Horne's letter (TES, November 3).
We have announced the potential locations of five city academies. In each of these areas sponsors have come forward with initial proposals, which they will now develop with our support.
We want city academies to be at the heart of their communities, and expect sponsors to consult widely on their plans. Final approval will depend on the extent to which the sponsors and their partners demonstrate that a city academy will help to raise standards and increase opportunities for local pupils.
City academies will be run by charitable companies. Where a city academy relaces an existing school, any assets that are transferred to the company will continue to be used for the benefit of the pupils and the community.
City academies will not be selective. Admissions will be consistent with admissions law and with the codes of practice. We will also expect city academies to take account of DFEE guidance on all aspects of discipline.
A number of authorities have welcomed city academies as a positive way of tackling underachievement. I hope that National Union of Teachers members are also given the opportunity to make their minds up about city academies on the basis of the facts.
Minister of State
DFEE, London SW1P